Ranking the industry’s top leaders is an immense task and responsibility. Every year, we agonize over the order of the Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200). While assessing some leaders is difficult, Keller Williams Realty’s charismatic chief Gary Keller was easier. After another record-breaking year for the firm, which saw agent count surpass 152,000 agents, Keller moves up one slot from a year ago and into his first ever top 3 slot, behind only Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff and Realogy chief Richard Smith.
Keller guided the brand to three straight years of record-breaking agent growth through 2016, but more than winning in body count, Keller’s firm is also reshaping the real estate landscape. The firm’s traction is compelling traditional brokerage operators to consider adopting some of its innovative tactics including caps on commissions agents pay to their brokerage, profit sharing with agents and a business model centered on agents.
For example, industry leader Realogy’s recent moves in changing compensation models and hiring senior executives for growth and operations could be interpreted as a response to Keller Williams, which Realogy CEO Richard Smith has called out as a competitive threat in the past.
Keller Williams’ bottom line also saw a boost in 2016. Through the first nine months, it reported a sales volume of $207 billion, up 18.9 percent from the same period in 2015.
Of course, success is never a one-person endeavor, especially at Keller Williams. Seven other Keller Williams leaders made the 2017 SP200 list:
- John Davis and Chris Heller, Keller Williams co-CEOs, at No. 12.
- David Osborne, regional owner of Keller Williams Realty North Texas, at No. 64.
- Mary Tennant, regional owner of Keller Williams Realty Texas and a Keller Williams board member, at No. 68.
- Paul Morris, regional owner of Keller Williams Realty Forward Management, at No. 73.
- Bryan Fair, regional owner of Keller Williams Realty Pinnacle Partners Group, at No. 138.
- Ben Kinney, Keller Williams Realty team leader and brokerage owner, at No. 163.